Facing Challenges and Winning: Five Government 2.0 Examples

The O'Reilly Gov 2.0 Online Conference, Winter 2009

Agenda/Schedule | Program Committee

Gov 2.0 Online Conference has concluded

When citizens interact with their government, powerful things can happen. It means doing more with less people. It means breaking down too-familiar "cylinders of excellence." Web 2.0 is the industry which has shown that transparency, participation, collaboration add up to increased efficiency. Gov 2.0 harnesses this for the public good, as we'll explore in these sessions:

The Gov 2.0 Online Conference is the meeting ground for hearing about government and non-profit Gov 2.0 initiatives, learning about the people and technology, and challenging the status quo. In this half-day online conference, you'll have the opportunity to hear from Gov 2.0 practitioners, share your ideas, ask questions, and join in a conversation with panelists and other participants, all looking to build a solid and future for Gov 2.0 trends, tools, and technologies.



US-PST: 9:00am - 9:05am
US-EST: 12:00pm - 12:05pm

Speakers: Mark Drapeau and Laurel Ruma

City of Santa Cruz Budget Crisis: A Blueprint Using Social Media + Q&A

US-PST: 9:05am - 9:30am
US-EST: 12:05pm - 12:30pm

While the City of Santa Cruz, CA, is best known for its surfing and the beach boardwalk, the City has quickly become known for its interactive social media strategy for engaging residents in resolving the City’s recent budget crisis. Santa Cruz officials realized that it couldn’t wait 12 or 24 months for community forums and elections; decisions needed to be made immediately with the help of its residents. As a result, the City launched a special community feedback portal at http://budget.santacruzcityca.gov/ which gave residents an opportunity to offer City leadership constructive suggestions to the City’s fiscal problems. In this session, Peter Koht, economic development coordinator, will discuss at length the City’s social media strategy and best practices for other cities looking to use the technology. He will also provide insights to Web 2.0 vendors on the type of issues that local governments are dealing with and the technology they need to address these issues.

Speaker: Peter Koht, City of Santa Cruz

txts 4 africa + Q&A

US-PST: 9:30am - 9:55am
US-EST: 12:30pm - 12:55pm

Africa is enormous, beautiful, full of people, and tragically stricken with endemic public health, economic, and educational issues, as a result of widespread poverty and political strife. International aid organizations continue to try to address these problems with various programs, but often find their efforts hindered by the continent’s uneven telecommunications and transport infrastructure. Towards this end, the UNICEF Innovations Unit has been spearheading the RapidSMS project, an Open Source platform for SMS application development. UNICEF, the Millenium Villages Project, and others have successfully used RapidSMS to augment malnutrition prevention programs in Malawi and Kenya, document the status of refugees in Somalia, promote women’s literacy in Senegal, distribute malaria resistant bednets in Nigeria, and more. We will discuss, in depth, some of the lessons on using ICT for international development learned through these deployments, and discuss how SMS can be used to make government and quasi-governmental efforts, like international development, more efficient and accountable.

Speaker: Merrick Schaefer, UNICEF


US-PST: 9:55am - 10:10am
US-EST: 12:55pm - 1:10pm

During the morning break, we encourage you to check out the following presentation, courtesy of our exclusive sponsor, Microsoft:

Citizen Science: Opening Pathways to Discovery through the Cloud
NASA's Michelle Viotti discusses how NASA/JPL is using the cloud to drive large-scale engagement with citizenry in the area of Citizen Science with the recently launched "Be a Martian" website and Pathfinder Innovation Challenge.

Transit 2.0 at Bart.gov + Q&A

US-PST: 10:10am - 10:35am
US-EST: 1:10pm - 1:35pm

We’ll give a funny, entertaining and instructive overview of how BART is furthering our use the web to drive efficiency, transparency, accountability, participation, collaboration and new models of partnerships between the tech community and government. BART shows how a government agency can use technology to be a provider not only of services—but also of information, data and spaces for building community.

Speaker: Melissa Jordan, Bay Area Rapid Transit

Utah Department of Public Safety Media Portal + Q&A

US-PST: 10:35am - 11:00pm
US-EST: 1:35pm - 2:00pm

The State of Utah Department of Public Safety is dedicated to protecting the community. With its DPS Media Portal, the public can find out about incidents more quickly and DPS employees can focus on protecting the public rather than communication with the media. The Media Portal uses innovative Web 2.0 technologies that provide the media with a current comprehensive view into statewide law enforcement activities. Through this session Sergeant Jeff Nigbur will discuss the background information and recent developments of the DPS Media Portal as an effective public communication tool.

Speaker: Jeff Nigbur, State of Utah, Department of Public Safety


US-PST: 11:00pm - 11:15pm
US-EST: 2:00pm - 2:15pm

During the break, we encourage you to check out the following presentation, courtesy of our exclusive sponsor, Microsoft:

Connecting to Curiosity: Cloud-based Dialogues with Knowledge-seeking Citizens
Michelle Viotti discusses the recently launched "Be a Martian" website, specifically how NASA/JPL is using the cloud and Microsoft Town Hall to engage with the public on their questions and ideas.

Digital Diplomacy: Understanding Islam through Virtual Worlds + Q&A

US-PST: 11:15pm - 11:40pm
US-EST: 2:15pm - 2:40pm

The idea for Understanding Islam through Virtual Worlds project was hatched with a very specific idea in mind: How could people learn about other cultures in an authentic, experiential space — specifically, how could we learn about cultures that self-identified as Muslim? In turn, how could this information supplement or augment the physical world work of foreign policy and especially public diplomacy practitioners? Fouts and King chose the virtual world of Second Life as the platform for their research for many reasons, among them that it is the best international platform — more than 70% of its users are from outside the United States. The goal was to to see what they could learn about Islam — not by inviting particular people with particular perspectives into Second Life, but rather to follow the trail of what was already happening culturally in the space that might yield new insight about Islam.

Speaker: Rita King, Dancing Ink Productions

Closing Comments and Looking Ahead

US-PST: 11:40pm - 11:45pm
US-EST: 2:40pm - 2:45pm

Speakers: Mark Drapeau and Laurel Ruma

Program subject to refinement.

The entire conference will be recorded and made available free of charge afterwards.

Program Committee

Dr. Mark DrapeauDr. Mark Drapeau
Mark Drapeau is Co-Chair of the Gov 2.0 Expo Showcase and the Gov 2.0 Expo in May 2010. He holds the title of Associate Research Fellow at the Center for Technology and National Security Policy at the National Defense University, a professional military educational school under the direction of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Some of his NDU research was recently published in a report titled Social Software and National Security: An Initial Net Assessment. He is a frequent guest speaker and blogger on topics related to Government 2.0, social media, and science & technology.

Mark is a contributing columnist for O'Reilly Radar and Federal Computer Week, where he writes about emerging media technologies and the government; in addition, he writes satire and opinion for True/Slant. Mark is also a co-founder of Government 2.0 Club, an international platform for sharing knowledge about the intersection between technology and governance. Mark has a B.S. in evolutionary biology, a Ph.D. in animal behavior, conducted NIH-funded postdoctoral training in neuroscience, studied social behavior as part of the International Honeybee Genome Project, was a 2006-08 AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow in National Defense and Global Security, and is an avid mindcaster on Twitter.

Laurel RumaLaurel Ruma
Laurel Ruma is an editor at O'Reilly Media. She joined the company in 2005 after working for five years at various IT analyst firms in the Boston area, including Forrester Research. Laurel went to Union College and is a photographer and homebrewer.

Questions? Please send an email to conf-online@oreilly.com.

Sponsorship Opportunities

For future Gov 2.0 Online Conference sponsorship opportunities, please contact Sharon Cordesse at scordesse@oreilly.com